Have a Family Crappie-Fishing Farm
How to Find a Crappie Farm
Editor’s Note: When she was younger, my daughter, Kate, bounced up and down on the seat as the cork sank, and her small rod curled with a crappie, seemingly pushing the 8-pound test line to its breaking point. “Daddy, I can’t hold this fish,” Kate screamed. “You’ve got to help me!” At the same time from the other end of the boat, my young son, John, squealed, “Daddy, I’ve got one, too, and he’s a good one!” As I encouraged Kate to keep fighting the fish to the surface, John stood up, pushed his rod into his stomach and leaned back as though he was fighting a giant marlin. Kate’s crappie came to the boat first. When I netted her fishand put it on the floor of the boat, Kate shrieked with excitement. I quickly moved to the other end of the boat to help John land his crappie. Then I unhooked the slabs and rebaited with minnows. Most of the morning, I was either landing crappie or baiting minnows, while my two youngsters battled slab-sized fish. At the end of the day with a cooler full of crappie, we headed from our fishing farm to our home. “We had a good day at the farm, today, didn’t we, Daddy?” Kate said with a smile. “We picked those crappie off the bushes, didn’t we?” John chimed in as he settled in his car seat. “Yep, we picked a good crop today,” I told my children. “Next weekend, I hope we can do as well when we come back to the farm.” Catching fish is great family fun. But going fishing and not taking any fish can be boring and aggravating. However, the families who know how to farm crappie consistently can find and catch crappie on almost every outing. One of the best fish to farm is crappie. Planning a fishing trip for the day and farming for crappie is as exciting as organizing a vacation to Disney World.
To consistently catch crappie on every outing, choose a lake to become your family’s crappie-fishing farm. Pick a lake or a river nearyour home that regularly produces crappie. The closer the lake is to your home, the more often you’ll fish there, and the more crappie you can catch. Look for a lake that has a history of yielding crappie all year. Then begin to study the areas of the lake that hold the most crappie. Just like a farmer has a soil test done and often consults the county agent when he’s planning what crops to plant and where to plant them, talk to your district fisheries biologist, who is a member of your state’s department of conservation. This fisheries biologist can provide vital information about how, where and when to catch crappie on the lake you’ve chosen. The biologist also can tell you at what depth the crappie are the most-frequently caught, what regions of the lake produce the most crappie, what time of year the crappie are in different water depths, and what types of places to look for crappie. The district fisheries biologist has the responsibility of knowing pertinent information about each lake in his district.
Tomorrow: How to Plant a Crappie Farm